The Goldfish Went on Vacation: A Memoir of Loss (and Learning to Tell the Truth About It)

Patty Dann, Author, Sallie Sanborn, Afterword by . Shambhala/Trumpeter $16.95 (166p) ISBN 978-1-59030-428-0

Dann, the author of Mermaids , had been married almost 10 years to her Dutch husband, Willem, when he was suddenly diagnosed with a fatal brain cancer. In this memoir (the cute title undercuts the serious subject), Dann explains how the plans they'd so lovingly made—their future together—would abruptly come to an end. Worse, Dann had no idea how she'd explain to their three-year-old son, Jake, whom they adopted from Lithuania, that his father would begin to act strangely, that he would become very sick and eventually die. Fortunately, she enlisted the aid of an understanding child therapist, Sallie Sanborn, who taught Dann how to give Jake permission to grieve. While her son's reactions were Dann's focus, she also had to come to terms with the man she loved losing his language skills, his mobility, his thought processes, and their happy marriage coming to an end. Dann lets her story unfold as a series of short vignettes—some triggered by a mundane object, others by something someone said. Bittersweet and painfully honest, Dann's memoir of how she had to leave one life and begin another is remarkable. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 11/06/2006
Release date: 01/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 166 pages - 978-1-59030-564-5
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